An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural
Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies
Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z
Halloween All Hallow's Eve. A Christian festival on the evening of October 31, followed by All Saints' Day (Allhallows). Allhallows was first celebrated on May 1 in A.D. 610, then was changed to November 1 in A.D. 834. All Saints' Day is not to be confused with All Souls' Day, which is November 2. It's all rather baffling.
The origin is from Druidic times, when it was known as Samhain and was said to be presided over by Saman, Lord of Death, who summoned the souls of evil persons condemned to live in animal bodies. The Disney animated film Fantasia went to that source for its representation of Mussorgsky's A Night on Bare Mountain. The festival is now considered a harvest celebration, with masquerade costumes and door-to-door begging by children for treats. Strangely enough, this Christian observance is regarded with great fear by many Christian sects, who associate it with devil worship and witchcraft.
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Copyright (C) 1995-2007 James Randi.
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